The night temperatures are expected to dip into the low thirties tonight, so I harvested all my squash (or whatever was left of it after two thefts over the past couple months). Three butternut squash and three honeynut squash. Sadly, no Delicata squash this year. The butternuts are slightly under-ripe, but I hope they will be okay. I also harvested some chard. Still growing in the garden are chard, kale, leeks and one butternut squash. I plan to clean up my plot and plant garlic and shallots this weekend.
Yesterday, I harvested the lemongrass on my back porch. Back in June, I had purchased a pack of lemongrass at the supermarket and rooted two of the stalks in water for a couple of weeks (the other stalks did not have enough stem left to root) before I planted them in a container. To harvest, I first cut the leaves off, about two inches below where they were branching off the stem. The leaves are super sharp, so wearing gloves was a must.
I then took the outer leaves off, separating the inner greener parts from the outer somewhat drier leaves.
I washed both sets of leaves and left them to dry overnight on a kitchen towel. The leaves are not as razor-sharp and easier to work with if they wilt a bit overnight. I then harvested the stalks and cleaned them as well.
This morning, I made the leaf bundles. Those will be used for tea and to flavor soups.
I am very happy with this little back porch experiment and can’t wait to use the lemongrass in the kitchen. It smelled to good! I will grow (more!) lemongrass again next year and also try to grow ginger.
I picked the last of my tomatoes today – a handful of green Ailsa Craig. All my tomato plants are done for the season now. I picked one last larger tomato (a Dr. Wyche’s Yellow), that will ripen on the counter. I turned the green ones into a small batch of pickled green tomatoes. Those are so good on sandwiches (with sharp cheddar, apple slices and coarse mustard, inspired by City Feed’s Farmers Lunch sandwich).
I had harvested a ton of basil from my garden two days ago but only this morning found the time to turn it into pesto. Some of the leaves had wilted a bit, but overall, storing the basil wrapped in dry paper towels in a produce bag in the fridge worked very well. I just washed the leaves and dried them well and then processed them with olive oil and salt using my stick blender. As usual, I did not add garlic, cheese or nuts to my “pesto”. I find it more versatile this way. And it also keeps better in the freezer.
Today, I spent a few hours in the garden weeding (in particular mint and those pesky Jerusalem artichokes that have been taking over the fence area of my plot). I filled two lawn bags with mostly Jerusalem artichokes, yikes! I also planted four basil seedlings that I had rooted from cuttings a couple weeks before and sowed cilantro and two rows of beets (Chiogga and Golden). I had to take out the bush beans as they were completely destroyed by the resident rabbit and planted cilantro in their place. Oh well.
To clarify: The Green Zebra is my first ripe tomato of the year. The others are from a plot neighbor in the community garden whose plot I am watering while they are on vacation :).